National Basketball Association
Indiana 121, Milwaukee 118
When: 5:30 PM ET, Friday, April 26, 2024
Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Officials: #21 Dedric Taylor, #16 David Guthrie, #14 Ed Malloy, #77 Karl Lane
Attendance: 17274

Tyrese Haliburton converted a three-point play with 1.6 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Indiana Pacers to a 121-118 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series in Indianapolis.

Haliburton gained separation after using a nifty crossover on Patrick Beverley before sinking a shot from the foul line. He added a free throw to complete his 18-point, 16-assist, 10-rebound performance and overcome a scintillating 42-point effort by Milwaukee's Khris Middleton.

"I just knew I was shooting it," Haliburton said. "No matter what, I didn't know what I was going to get to, it was just based off a feel out there. ... As soon as I saw Patrick kind of turn his head, I just rejected and that opened everything up across the middle and I finally made a shot. I couldn't buy a bucket today, and I'm glad that one went in."

Myles Turner collected 29 points and nine rebounds and Pascal Siakam added 17 points and nine rebounds to help the sixth-seeded Pacers seize a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series.

Game 4 is Sunday in Indianapolis.

Middleton drained a 3-pointer to tie the score at 111-111 with 2.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Middleton was not done, however, as he answered Aaron Nesmith's corner 3 by banking home his shot from beyond the arc with eight seconds left in overtime before Haliburton's heroics.

"He said he felt better as the game went on ... now we have to make sure (Damian Lillard) is OK," Bucks coach Doc Rivers said of Middleton, who was questionable to play in Game 3 because of an ankle injury he suffered in Game 2.

Lillard overcame an apparent left leg injury late in the first quarter to finish with 28 points, eight assists and three steals.

"I think it's his Achilles again, we'll see," Rivers said when asked about Lillard's injury.

Bobby Portis collected 17 points and 18 rebounds for the third-seeded Bucks, who played their sixth straight game without two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (left calf strain).

Rivers was asked about the possibility of Antetokounmpo playing in Game 4.

"Only if he's healthy," Rivers said. "We're not going to rush anyone back. It's too dangerous."

Milwaukee erased a 19-point deficit and secured a 93-92 lead after Lillard sank consecutive 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter. Lillard added four more free throws and Portis sank a 3-pointer before Turner responded to tie the score at 104-104 with 4:10 remaining.

Lillard made a driving layup to trim Indiana's lead to 16-12 before the Pacers ignited a 23-10 run to finish the first quarter. Obi Toppin drained a mid-range jumper as part of his 11-point contribution during that sequence.

It could've been worse for Milwaukee, which saw Siakam appear to land on Lillard's left leg while the latter drove to the basket for a layup with 2:32 remaining in the first quarter. Lillard immediately clutched at his left knee and limped to the locker room before returning to the court early in the second quarter.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Milwaukee   Indiana
Khris Middleton 42 Scoring Myles Turner 29
Damian Lillard 8 Assists Tyrese Haliburton 16
Bobby Portis 18 Rebounds Tyrese Haliburton 10
Damian Lillard 12 Free Throws Made Aaron Nesmith 6
Damian Lillard 3 Steals Aaron Nesmith 3
Patrick Beverley 1 Blocks Tyrese Haliburton 1
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Milwaukee 118 46.6 10-31 26-27 20 43 2 6 12
Indiana 121 42.9 13-49 18-24 32 50 4 5 8
Upcoming Games
  • Indiana will play their next game at home against Milwaukee. The Pacers have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .667 after a loss.
  • Milwaukee will play their next game on the road against Indiana. The Bucks have a W/L % of .600 after a win and .594 after a loss.